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Basketry Book Review

Publisher: Lark Books, Asheville, NC.
ISBN: 1887374140

Pine Needle Basketry by Judy Mofield Mallow - pineneedle.gif (15810 bytes)by Judy Mofield Mallow

Transform Nature's refuse from the floors of the forest into fragrant, gracious pine needle containers with this how-to manual. Information on the materials and tools you will need, instructions for coiled basketry techniques both basic and more advanced is all covered.

Judy instructs the reader to make their first basic coiled basket step by step. Beginning with making a thread wrapped coil center, stitching the coil together in a plain stitch, adding pine needles, starting a new thread, shaping the sides of the basket, tapering the coil to finish it off and backstitching along the rim to reinforce it. After completing your first basic basket, you will learn more advanced topics such as how to dye pine needles, create a lid or handle, use gourds or pottery in combination with the pine needles, use nuts or cones for starts or embellishments and weave teneriffe. Advanced stitches such as split stitch, V stitch, wheat stitch, fern stitch and wrapping stitches are presented.

A chapter of project baskets is illustrated with photos of the baskets, descriptions of the material choices and stitches used.  In some cases special tips are offered to assist in the making of these more advanced projects, but step by step information is not. A photo gallery of color photos of the work of contributing basketmakers provides ample inspiration for the planning of your own coiling projects, as well as appreciation of the work of the featured artists. A short historical review and resource listings completes the presentation.

Judy Mallow is a resident of Southern Pines, North Carolina and a fifth-generation pine needle basketmaker.  Her work is widely displayed and sold in museums, craft fairs and galleries. She teaches pine needle basketry techniques, is the author of an earlier book on the topic and runs her own mail-order company.

The clear line drawings of technique and the colorful photos of finished projects make this book a visual delight. There are complete step by step instructions for the first basket, making the book a good bet for the beginner. The tips and photos in the project section will give more advanced coilers plenty of ways to expand their knowledge and expertise.

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A quick note to authors and publishers... 

I will be reviewing basketry-related books periodically.  I have a small stack of review copies to begin with, but if you are an author or publisher and would like to take part, just contact me to let me know what books you would like reviewed. Thank you for your help!


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